Thursday, July 9, 2009

Eyes Of Blue - Crossroads Of Time (uk 1968)

Eyes of Blue - Crossroads of Time (uk 1968)

Formed: Neith, United Kingdom

*Ritchie Francis (guitar),
*Gary Pickford Hopkins (vocals),
*Phil Ryan (keyboards),
*Windham Rees (drums),
*Ray Williams (bass),
*R. Bennett (bass),
*Jign Weathers (drums).

Related Artists:
Pete Brown & Piblokto!, Gentle Giant, Big Sleep, Man, Wild Turkey

01. Crossroads of Time 5:00
02. Never Care 3:18
03. I'll Be Your Friend 3:48
04. 7 + 7 Is 2:32
05. Prodigal Son 5:27
06. Largo 3:14
07. Love Is the Law 5:16
08. Yesterday 4:22
09. I Wonder Why 3:13
10. World of Emotion 2:48
11. Inspiration for a New Day 3:09

By rights, The Eyes of Blue should have an exalted place in the pantheon of art-rock and progressive rock bands. They were around before almost all of them, and doing film work and making music in a jazz-rock fusion idiom before the latter had been understood, and they were signed to two major labels in succession, Deram and Mercury. Instead, except for drummer John Weathers, who later joined Gentle Giant, The Eyes Of Blue are scarcely remembered at all. The Eyes of Blue started out as a jazz and rhythm-and-blues oriented outfit (Graham Bond wrote the notes for their first album), doing songs in that vein as well as less well suited material such as "Yesterday." The group was initially signed to Decca's progressive rock imprint Deram Records, and cut a series of excellent but neglected singles, and then moved to Mercury, where they concentrated on albums, enjoying greatest musical if not commercial success. They were taken seriously enough to collaborate with Quincy Jones on the score of the movie Toy Grabbers, and the group actually managed to appear in the movie Connecting Rooms. Their early strength lay in r&b-based material, including Bond's "Love Is The Law," "Crossroads of Time," and "7 and 7 Is," but even on their first album The Eyes of Blue showed some Eastern influences Their second album had some tracks off of the first film score as well as one Graham Bond song, but is more experimental, with extended instrumental passages and some classical music influences. In late 1968, The Eyes of Blue backed Buzzy Linhart on a self-titled album. The Eyes of Blue rated a supporting act spot at the Marquee Club in London in 1969, but the group's days were numbered, given the lack of their success as a recording outfit. Phil Ryan later played in Man, and John Weathers joined Pete Brown and Piblokto! on the Harvest label, before jumping to Gentle Giant.
~ By Bruce Eder, All Music Guide.
The Eyes debut album 'Crossroads Of Time' was eventually released early in 1969. It included two Graham Bond R&B songs (Bond also wrote the sleevenotes) 'Love Is The Law' and 'Crossroads Of Time' which was especially written for the band. It also included an interesting version of Love's '7 + 7 Is' while The Beatles' 'Yesterday' is given a treatment suggesting something of a jazz hymn. Ritchie Francis claimed the remaining songs of which 'Inspiration For A New Day' is noteworthy and 'Prodigal Son', which features some psychedelic guitar work from Ray 'Taff' Williams. 'Largo' is an arrangement of the Handel piece by Ritchie Francis and he claimed this was indicative of the way the group were going.
Following on from their earlier collaboration with Buzzy Linhart, the Eyes also worked with Quincy Jones when they contributed to the unreleased 'Toy Grabbers' film score. Later they also appeared in the film 'Connecting Rooms' as well as playing on the soundtrack, but the film wasn't given a general release in the UK.
~ By

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